Inside The Box: A Peek Into Our Preschool Curriculum Part 1

Last week, I shared my excitement about receiving our first Mother Goose Time box, and promised I’d share more pictures. So here we go!

As I mentioned in the previous post, each month we receive this awesome box full  of pretty much everything we are gonna need for the month: a teaching guide with the daily lesson plans, 20 daily activities (with supplies included) individually wrapped, and also monthly materials to add to our Circle Time board that represent the general themes we’ll be learning that month.

In this post I will show you more of what is in the Teacher’s Tool Bag. In the following two posts this month, I will break down the Circle Time Materials and the Daily Activity Bags.

So let’s jump in!

Unpacking our first box this time around reminded me of how excited we used to get when Natalie was in preschool and we’d receive our monthly delivery. I couldn’t wait until the kiddos were down for naps or bedtime to sprawl all the contents out on the table. That hasn’t changed!

And this is just one bag! So I’m going to break it down piece by piece.

This is our monthly theme web poster. Our four main subtopics this month for Alphabet Island are Setting Sail, At the Beach, Island Fun, and Exploring the Island, each with 5 daily topics we’ll explore in our Daily Topic Bags later this month.

The Gathering List has been a lifesaver for me, as one who likes to get all my supply ducks in a row before we start our lesson each day. While the daily topic bags do contain the majority of materials the kids will need, there are a few staple supplies that I need to keep around the house and pull from as needed (glue, paste, scissors, tape, etc.) This lovely organized list lets me know what I need on hand before we dive in to avoid unnecessary interruptions in our learning flow.

These fun little goodies are examples of the 2 sets of manipulatives included in each month’s box! We’ve accumulated quite the collection from Natalie’s stint with Mother Goose Time a couple of years ago, and the kids still use them on a regular basis to build, create, and to aid with our lessons. (Insider Tip: We have a rolling cart that has 4 drawers that we keep our manipulatives in and that allows the kids to pull them out whenever they want to play with them. This curriculum has so many awesome resources that you’ll want to find a way to make them accessible to the kids outside of “school” time so they can continue to enjoy them!)

Now on to the main resource in the Teacher’s Tool Bag: the Teacher’s Guide.

Not only does this contain the daily lesson plans, but it also walks you through how to use each of the resources provided in the Teacher’s Tool Bag.

Here’s the overviews of both the Monthly Theme Web and the Planning Journal (we’ll explore this beauty below).

Here’s a quick reference on the basic concepts covered that month (Letters, Numbers, Shapes, Colors, Patterns, Sight Words, Word Family, Friendship Trait).

One part of each day’s activities is Circle Time (we’ll explore the Circle Time bag later this month that helps you build your own board). The Teacher’s Guide walks you through facilitating this time, as well as incorporating each month’s new Circle Time materials.

This is a new addition since the last time we used Mother Goose Time. They used to have different learning stations to help give the kids variety in their day (great in a classroom setting with multiple kids, but we still set up some of them at home with just our two). I love that they have developed this aspect and really look forward to discovering more of what these different stations have to offer us this time around.

Here is the overview for the first arm off the Theme Web, Setting Sail. This is such a great way to get me prepared as the teacher for what we will be discussing that week and overarching themes I can continue to pull out as we’re in the middle of the daily topics. It also gives us an opportunity to hypothesize on what we will discover over that week and keep track of our findings once we’ve completed each set of five lessons.

This is the Developmental Continuum of the Experience Early Learning Skills for Preschool chart, which allows me to assess how each child is developing in different area (social and emotional, physical, language and literacy, etc.). There is a chart at the end of each Teacher’s Guide, with specific benchmarks for your child depending on age. Pictured above is the chart specifically for Alphabet Island, to show you which activities help showcase each child’s skills in a specific area, so that I can assess them in those specific categories and then reference the chart in the back of the book to see if it coincides with their age range, etc. As a parent and teacher, this helps me to recognize a little easier how each of my children are shaped, which areas they may need some extra focus and encouragement and others where they may naturally excel (to be able to search out more activities to further stimulate their growth). This allows me to be more intentional with what activities to help fosters their strengths and further grow skills in the areas where they may be a little underdeveloped.

Here is Day 1’s Lesson Plan: Island. You can see the Circle Time plan on the far left, and then the four main activities represented for that day’s topic. In the middle of the right picture, you see the suggested book for the day, The Little Sailboat by Lois Lenski, that relates well to that day’s topic as well as the theme for the week (Setting Sail). This makes it super easy to make a library list at the beginning of the week or month, depending on how frequently you visit. Or if there are some personal favorites, to snag a few on Amazon. There is also a comprehensive list available each month on the resources page of Mother Goose Time to be able to print and go.

Another great, fun resource is the monthly CD that goes along with the Circle Time activities each day. They are all themed (of course, right?) and then the lyrics are provided at the back of the Teacher’s Guide to help until these catchy tunes make their way into memory. My son has the CD in his personal CD player in his room already.

And along the side of the lyrics page are some of the Spanish vocabulary words for the month. I LOVE that this is provided in a preschool curriculum, and is such a great way to not only begin learning a new language, but to continue to expand my kids’ worldview and introduction to other cultures.

I really could add about 20 more pictures of the Teacher’s Guide and ways that we have already been utilizing the materials from the Teacher’s Tool Bag, but I gotta stop somewhere. More to come: Circle Time materials and Daily Topic Bags!

As an official Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador,
I receive curriculum in exchange for posting about our honest and authentic experiences with the curriculum.
Click here for more information on Mother Goose Time.